Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grasping for Him as Christmas draws near

With the busyness of the holiday season completely upon us I've found myself missing his presence.  Life as a whirlwind swirls around me and I can barely see in front of me let alone look up!  So here's a little moment of praise for Him who sent his son for us.  Consume me from the inside out Lord.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The sick bug came to visit....

 This little darling went from this:

to this:
She was so sick with a 103 fever she barely woke up all day yesterday.  This morning she was back to her normal sweet self (thankfully) so we are hoping no more sick bugs come to visit this Christmas! 
Only family & friends are welcome here!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

He came like the winter snow...

It's all about Him.
Our simple nativity sits at the center of our dining table, we see it at every meal.

Our Christmas tree this year is fragrent & green!  A woodland delight with snow & birds and blue & white.

Our Mantle, no stockings yet though, not settled on them yet.

This is a special little tree on the table in our office.  It has all the silver ornaments from our babies first Christmas's, their spoon, fork & cup.  Even one of our puppy Hunter when he was small! 

And above my computer desk, where I spend many hours...
Our card, Jesus is the Prince of Peace, He is the only way to experience peace on earth. 
We wish you a Christmas with the kind of Peace only He can bring!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gifts that are made to last

the joy we share
friends forever
The only kind of gifts that last are the ones He gives. 
Merry Christmas,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Im going through one of my phases again! Where will it lead...

 Help I've been absorbed into the book world once again and I'm afraid I cannot find my way out!  So it all started when my mom gave me Danniel Hannon's book The New Road to Serfdom which was unexpectedly inspiring, history rich and quotable!  Since he is British and has a decidedly British perspective and I think I was accidentally born here but should probably have been there (joking, I know God doesn't make mistakes!) I loved all the insights!

Next switching to a different genre but also European, I was given the original "Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens by my friend Nicole (a first Christmas gift).  This book, also rich in history and thought provoking led me to search for another along the same lines.  By happenstance, I found a book called the Water Babies in my children's bookcase and thought I might try it out.  Can I just tell you that I am reminded IN FULL how much depth and layers of interest and lessons authors from earlier times spun into their stories.  Why do I even bother to read current novels EVER? 
What is next in my reading repertoire?  Harriet Beecher Stowe's The Minister's Wooing, Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self Reliance and many more to come, I'm sure!  I would love to hear suggestions if you have any!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Memory Stars

This Memory Star was given as a gift to me from a good friend of mine Tamara!

She has started a business making these memory stars that can be made to celebrate a new baby, an engagement, a birthday, an adoption or any reason you can think of! 
The process was so simple!  I uploaded twenty of my favorite photos to costco.com, chose some colors (this one has a beach theme!) and she put together such a beautiful design! 
I wanted to showcase her new business idea because I know so many would love to have one!  See her email address in the comments section!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

One is silver and the others gold. 

It has unfortunately taken me most of my life to get this right. 

Today, I was so incredibly fortunate to have a dear lifelong friend Wendy come to my home to enjoy a morning of coffee, shared company and a lovely lunch together.  She brought her two littlest girls to play with mine and it was so sweet.  She mentioned wanting to meet my newest friend, my neighbor Nicole who I've been talking about quite a bit.  You see I am so thankful for her!  I had been looking for someone to go walking with every day.  To get outside and enjoy a brisk walk in nature, and we do, sometimes in a neighborhood and often out in the countryside.  What a treasure!  And even better we are kindred spirits, our conversations flow naturally and we find ourselves with always something more to be said!  The combination of good conversation and breathing fresh air is good for the soul and I am the better for it!

With all that said, I called Nicole to invite her to come over for lunch to meet Wendy and she accepted!  It was a meeting of two very dear friends and an impromptu celebration of friendship in general.  Wendy and I actually used to be neighbors at one point in our friendship!  At that time, she was my walking friend and I have missed having someone to share that with for 8 long years since we both moved!  What I haven't missed in those years is her actual friendship.  We have through the telephone (and infrequent visits) literally comforted, complained and commiserated through marriage, babies, work, and pretty much all of life together! 

My heart is full!  And most importantly I think I have finally matured to know how to value each friendship and it's place in my heart!  I am someone who likes and needs to simplify.  I do this routinely throughout my home and tend to get overwhelmed and try to streamline my heart too.  There is however, a new concept I am pursuing these days and it's all about a sense of community!  There will be no more streamlining of my heart!  Only always room for more!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The First Snow!

Oh how I dream of yesteryear!  There is something about snow that brings out the nostalgia in me! 

We have lived in old houses for the past eight years and the previous one was the oldest, built in 1914.  I once told my husband during a snowy winter day "Can't you just imagine this street (one of the main streets in our little town) with sleighs and horses driving down right past our windows! 
He then brought me back into reality and said even 90 years ago we didn't get much snow around here so there wouldn't be many sleighs!!  Well, carraiges then I said!
Now we live a little farther into the country in our little farmhouse (built in 1927) and get to see the wintery scene stretching out over acres!  It's so beautiful!  The view looks like a postcard, I love the way snow makes everything so...picturesque.  At least until it starts to melt.
We have over 7 inches here!  It's magical!
Do you have any snow at your house? 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I know a place

As I sit to write this post and the little one starts to wail in the background for some yet unknown reason... 

 I am "posting" ( which is just another way of saying "postponing") 

 I should be:

digging into the laundry that never was started

starting a homework lesson

cleaning the floors which of course look as though they haven't been swept in a week.

This has been one of those out and about kind of days - the kind when you've been gone so long you just can't quite settle into to start chores that should have started hours ago. 

But...in spite of the mess...

I know a place were there is at least one child asleep at my bedside when my eyes open in the morning.
I know a place where the little one stands in the window sill to wave bye to siblings zooming away in the school bus.
I know a place when naptime is a heavenly lull in the noise at midday.
I know a place where a little voice sweetly says "momma" as she wakes again too soon!
I know a place where growing feet pound up the stairs and through the door at 4:03
I know a place overflowing with laughter while 8 feet circle the hallwaylivingroomdiningroomkitchen for the hundred millionth time
I know a place where quiet prayers and lullabies are sung and little boys dont forget to ask God to make them strong and brave
I know a place.... it's HOME

(this post was inspired by one of my favorite children's books, but adapted to my own home)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Comfort and Simple Faith

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thes. 5:16-18

As I read these verses I remembered a book I read a few years ago called "The Hiding Place" by Corrie ten Boom.  I remember it being a comfort to me and as soon as I could get to the library I checked it out again. To my delight they also had another book about her life and faith.  I guess this post is a study on my thoughts and inner struggles this week and the encouragement I have found in reading about Corrie whose faith in God was simple and yet carried her through the lowest lows and highest heights of human existense. 

Here are just of few of the simple truths she is known for saying and encouraging with in addition to her favorite scriptures:

Jesus is Victor. 

The Lord has no problems, only plans.

She wrote:  I look at the faces around me, and experience deep sympathy.  I know I have work for the kingdom of God.  After what He did for me on the cross, then I am happy that I can suffer a little.

(If you are unfamiliar with her story, she suffered much, soooo so much in a concentration camp where she lost her father, sister and nephew).  When I read her words "suffer a little" and then compare it with any present suffering I experience - my sufferings wouldn't even register on a chart. 

From her stories I gain perspective and draw up strength.  I am encouraged to hide the Word in my heart and live with a childlike faith.

I highly, highly recommend reading her story or rereading it, whichever the case may be!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Is it too early?

For this:
And this:
And this:
I'm sure it is it but it's so much fun ~ I cannot wait!

I'm sorry, I know you're not quite ready but I feel the Holiday season is fair game about the first day of November!  The thing is much as I value giving thanks I feel it is more of a daily choice instead of an annual holiday!  It is really a side road detour on the way to my favorite Holiday of all, the birth of Christ, Christmas!
The really ironic part is its so warm and sunny today not winter-ish at all!  Oh well!
Blessings, & thank you for putting up with me!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why I love this time of year!

Okay, so I've been noticing a few starting to get a bit down about fall fading into Winter.  First of all I understand because I did have one fleeting thought this week "Oh no after the holidays it stays miserable for sooooo long"...but I quickly pushed it out of my head.  Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow I said & then went along happily because we are still in the season I love. 
So, these are the things I love:
I love it when the rain pours down and the wind blows all around while I am inside my cozy house with the woodstove warmth wrapping me like a wool blanket.  It makes me so thankful to have shelter!

I love it when my children are all home from school in the evening & we have just had a fallish dinner of Ginger Carrot Soup with Turkey & Swiss Grilled Sandwiches.  We putter about satisfied and resting wrapped in dark with glowing lamp light to cozy up to.

I love making gift lists for the holidays (I always start early because just like my pumpkins come out in early Sept. my sparkly things start coming out before Thanksgiving!)  I LOVE CHRISTMAS.  It makes my heart glad.

I love bundling up to go out in sweats & ugg boots and sweaters with vests and knit hats.  It doesn't get better than that - except when I feel like going less casual and get to wear my favorite brown boots with jeans & a cute jacket!

I love the sunny days that break in and surprise me so I can't help but going out for a walk and feeling so blessed to have another gorgeous day - we have more nice days in fall than any other time of the year in the NW I think.

I love to hope for the first snow!

I could go on and on I think but that might be a real bore!  Just had to share why my heart is still full (and I'm so thankful it is!)
And come on - who wouldn't love this!  My little pooch Opal shows how to get really comfy on a drizzly day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Patch & I'm almost Pumpkined Out!

A gorgeous day for a field trip with my kindergartener and little one!  To the pumpkin patch we go!
Country anything is cute in my book!
Loving the tractor ride out into the field. 

Milking the cow, that's an important skill to learn!

He's rewarded with ice cream for the effort, I'm rewarded with that smile!
Little sister get's in on the fun too!

Lots of animals to see before we go!

Later it's pumpkin carving and seed roasting time and...
 when the day comes to an end we enjoy our bounty of "Pumpkin Moonshines" on the porch!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A delicious & fallish recipe!

Every time I make this Bread or Muffins (this time I made both!) my husband (who is a chef:) says these are so good they should be in a bakery window.  They are pleasing to the eye and taste scrumptious!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread or Muffins
Preheat Oven to 375
1 8oz Pckg Cream Cheese
1 egg
1 t vanilla
3 T brown sugar

4 1/2 T ap flour
5 T sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
3 T butter
3 T chopped pecans

2 1/2 c ap flour
2 c white sugar
2 t b powder
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 c canned or fresh pumpkin
1/3 c olive oil
2 t vanilla

Make filling ~ Beat cream cheese until soft, add egg vanilla and brown sugar, beat til smooth.
Struesal topping ~ mix flour sugar cinnamon add butter, cut in til crumbly.
Batter ~ sift flour, sugar, b powder cinnamon salt make a well in the center and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil, vanilla ~ beat until smooth.
Fill muffin cups halfway, add 1 T of cream cheese mix and sprinkle with streusal topping.
Bake at 375 20-25 minutes or longer for bread.

Trust me it is worth the effort!  At least once during fall!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

a crown of contentment

"I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking."
George MacDonald (C.S. Lewis' mentor)

I have a confession to make.  Sometimes, seeing the amazing women around me is simply inspiring!  Yet at other times, seeing these same amazing, caring, creative, multi-tasking, beautiful women around me (and in blogland) I fall into the habit of comparison. 
Yep, and it's not pretty when I'm asking myself if I measure up... I thought I would have some how "matured past this" by this point in my life. 
My heart's desire is to be a girl who wears the crown of contentment.  Content to be me, content to live the purpose God designed for ME  and not someone else. 
Today something in me changed...
Suddenly my eyes are opened and I'm telling you I'm not willing to go one more day without contentment in my heart!  Looking back over the times I've been mislead by comparison I'm seeing through different eyes than before.  Now I'm trusting in the one who formed me that his plan is perfect!  It's about faith - I realize, believing HE knows best!  He meant to make me just the way I am.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Place near the alter...

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for her young - a place near your alter. Psalm 84:3

As my older children and husband are away here:

My littlest Carolyn and I are nesting here:
I've spent a VERY quiet weekend home, reading my bible and playing with my little one.  Probably missing out on some fun at the beach...but, needing to be near the alter.  I think what keeps me feeling far away from it at times is the busyness of life and the many distractions that come with having a big family in small home!

So I've nested by editing the decor in my home... 
(try not to notice the blue tape, did i mention we're painting:)

 By enjoying the view out my window...
By staying here and being purposeful about how I spend each moment (meaning I did only what I wanted to) instead of all the things I think I should!


Friday, October 1, 2010

October, I can't believe you're here so soon!

this is my new chicken scraps bucket, cute huh!  just had to share! 

my husband just completed our porch makeover and we've almost completed our trim painting & house paint touching up!  
here is the before:

this is when we bought our house 5 years ago ~ I always envisioned white trim!  Can you believe they hid our beautiful leaded glass windows behind all the trees!  Major improvements we've made ~ ideas mine of course, workmanship mostly my husbands!  thank you, thank you hun!
 i never could have orange pumpkins with that other combo so i went all out and opted for fallish mums too - it's A LOT of color for me - i'm warning you it's not likely to last long in my faded blue & grey world!  (but it's fun for once!) 


About Me

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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love